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Health Officials monitoring outbreak of Swine Flu in the region…

swine-fluTrinidad and Tobago continues to be on high alert as several countries within close geographical proximity have reportedly experienced several cases of the dangerous H1N1 virus, (swine flu).

Health Minister, Dr. Fuad Khan said to date, all local suspected cases of swine flu for which tests have been carried out, have been negative.

H1N1 is a strain of the Influenza A virus which causes influenza in birds and some mammals.CaribbeanMapCarte

Yesterday in Barbados, four cases were reported and health officials in that Caribbean nation confirmed one death from the highly contagious disease.

Barbados’ acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand said Barbados has an adequate supply of Tamiflu which is recommended for persons in high risk groups.

Barbados was also expecting a shipment of the seasonal influenza vaccine which contains the H1N1 virus that will be offered to frontline workers in the public sector and persons in high risk groups.

In St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG),  six cases were confirmed, and Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, assured there was no reason to panic, as he said antiviral treatment is available, as well as additional stocks could be made available from the Pan American Health Organisation at a fast rate.

Meantime, over in Venezuela, Health Minister, Eugenia Sader, said that the current outbreak of H1N1 affecting Venezuela since March 17, has caused eight confirmed deaths and infected 712 people.